National Grid is next to go under dividend spotlight, but Bank of England meeting key
National Grid PLC (LON:NG.) will be the next blue-chip in the dividend spotlight as it releases final results on Thursday, although most attention will likely be focused ahead to the midday Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decision.
Earlier this year, National Grid said it had not suffered any material impact from the coronavirus pandemic, however, the electricity network operator added that it would continue to monitor the situation before making a final decision on its dividend.
With recent economic data pointing to a sharp economic slowdown and firms cutting jobs across the board, investors may also be keeping an eye on whether National Grid will also make any moves to cut costs.
BoE could go ‘all in’
It will otherwise be a light day for scheduled announcements, though much of the market attention will be on macroeconomics as the Bank of England makes its latest rates decision and over in America there will be the weekly jobless numbers.
The Bank of England MPC is expected to keep interest rates unchanged at the historic low of 0.1% on Thursday. However, after some members called for an extension of quantitative easing (QE) last time, some economists have suggested a new round of QE could be coming to help support the economy and share prices.
The asset purchase facility is likely to be increased by £200bn over the course of the summer, according to Rabobank in a preview.
“The MPC could go ‘all in’, but we believe it will opt for a more flexible approach by adding £100bn next week, and then another £100bn in August,” the Dutch bank’s analysts said.
While there has been plenty of market chatter and official talk about negative interest rates, Rabobank’s economists said they didn’t think that the MPC is ready to explore this avenue yet.
Significant events expected on Thursday:
BoE interest rate decision
Finals: National Grid PLC (LON:NG.)
Interims: Blue Prism Group PLC (LON:PRSM), Caretech Holdings PLC (LON:CTH), Safestore Holdings PLC (LON:SAFE)
FTSE 100 ex-dividends to knock 0.39 points off the index: Intermediate Capital Group PLC (LON:ICP)
Economic data: US weekly jobless claims